CONCORD, N.C. — If Kyle Larson can have his racing dreams unfold the way he wants, dirt track fans may have plenty of reason to rejoice down the road.
Larson revealed during the newest episode of the World of Outlaws’ Open Red podcast, which debuted on Monday, that he still has aspirations of racing full-time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at some point during his career.
The comments came after Larson was asked if making it to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was always his ultimate goal or not, leading to a candid response that set social media ablaze.
“As everyone knows, with NASCAR … there’s a lot of money in the sport, and you can make a good living from racing there,” Larson told show hosts Ross Wece and Justin Fiedler. “So I wanted to make it to NASCAR, and throughout the 2011 season I had opportunities to go Indy Lights racing and stuff like that … but I just wasn’t into that. I grew up watching Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and wanted to race with them.”
“NASCAR is where I wanted to make it, but I would have been perfectly fine if I hadn’t made it, honestly. I’d probably be on the Outlaw (sprint car) tour right now, racing and loving life. NASCAR wasn’t … I’d say that racing on the World of Outlaws tour full-time is my main goal; NASCAR’s just the step to get there.”
Larson also said that his planned dirt schedule may change in 2018 compared to what it looked like this past season.
The 25-year-old from Elk Grove, California is permitted by Chip Ganassi Racing to compete in 25 dirt races during the season, which in recent years has been a mix of winged sprint car races for car owner Paul Silva and USAC midget races for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports.
For the coming year, Larson said his wish is to focus primarily on his sprint car program with Silva when he’s not racing the No. 42 Chevrolet at NASCAR’s top level.
“I have a big master schedule that I have to narrow down to 25 races, which stinks, because I have 35 or 37 dates on there right now,” Larson explained.
“I still have to talk to Keith (Kunz) and all that, but I’m gonna run less midget stuff next year so I can get a couple more sprint car races in. I won’t do (Indiana) Midget Week … and I’d like to do Turkey Night, but right now … that’s like the last race of the year. If I get some rainouts, maybe I can fit Turkey Night in, but for the most part I want to run the sprint car a lot.”
This past season, Larson broke out into NASCAR prominence, scoring four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories and finishing a career-high eighth in points. He also earned three NASCAR XFINITY Series wins as well for Ganassi.
Away from the blacktop, Larson scored eight winged sprint car victories during the season, as well as finished second to Donny Schatz in the 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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